How do you butter your toast?

Jun 24, 2020
Cinnamon Toast
I am that person who could have stayed in college and gotten 8 or 9 degrees in totally different majors. I love learning! Learning helps me grow as a person. The more I know, the more I feel like I can make a difference in the world. I don't have 8 or 9 degrees, but I did double major as an undergrad in political science and environmental geology. What do these have in common? Strategic thinking!
Strategic thinking is my jam! My brain naturally analyzes and strategizes everything. Yes, I mean everything. I am constantly envisioning opportunities and obstacles to analyze the best path forward. What's the best way to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way to achieve a goal? That's what I'm thinking whether it is about increasing constituent engagement, how to build consensus around collaborating with new partners, or how to evenly butter a piece of toast. I will admit it can be a little exhausting sometimes, but the Universe gave me a gift, so I am going to use it.
Why is strategic thinking so important? Number one reason, it helps problem solve. Businesses, organizations, people, all have problems that need solutions at some point. Strategic thinking helps find the best solutions more efficiently.
Efficiency is critical in 2020. Let's face it, our world is increasingly complex and resources like time, money, and energy are more precious than ever. While incorporating strategic thinking skills throughout an organization would be ideal, it just isn't always realistic. This is where a consultant skilled in strategic thinking can come in very handy and be the most efficient way to define and achieve your goals.
n the meantime, here are some steps to help you think more strategically about your goals:
  1. Think about where you have been, where you are now, and where you want to go and write down your thoughts. Good old-fashioned pen and paper is best because it engages your brain more than typing.
  2. Make a list of pros and cons about where you want to go.
  3. Talk about your goals with a trusted colleague or friend who usually has opinions that differ from yours. Repeat this step as many times as you can with different people.
  4. Consider the alternate points of view. Give it serious thought and try to put yourself in their shoes.
  5. Revisit steps 1 and 2. Examine what thoughts may have changed.
Writing and talking about as well as reconsidering your ideas and goals from a different viewpoint will get you started thinking more strategically.
If you are looking to go beyond these basic steps, I would love the opportunity to help. I am constantly learning and working on improving my own strategies for things big and small. My husband tells me my cinnamon toast is better than his. My secret is the strategy I use to get the butter evenly distributed! It's nice to be able to continuously improve things in my own life, but it doesn't make my heart sing with joy. Joy for me comes when I use my skills to help others and their organizations. That's what Joy Forward Strategy is all about. It's my way of getting to use my gifts to benefit others. I can't wait to see where it takes me (and you)!

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